Susan Baker: Guilty As Charged On All Three Counts

By: Vanessa Nguyen Email
By: Vanessa Nguyen Email

Chipley-It took less than two hours for a jury to come back with a decision in the case of accused baby-napper Susan Baker.

She was charged with Aggravated Child Abuse, Interference with Custody and giving False Information to Law Enforcement.

Baker did not showed any emotion as the clerk read the verdict Friday afternoon.

"Verdict: we the jury find the defendant, Susan Elizabeth Baker, as to count one in this case, guilty as charged for aggravated child abuse."

Defendant Susan Baker sat quietly in her chair as she heard Friday's verdict:

Guilty as charged on the three counts of Aggravated Child Abuse, Interference with Custody and giving False Information to Law Enforcement.

During closing arguments, the state argued there was no justification, excuse or reason for putting seven month old Shannon Dedrick inside the two by three foot wooden box.

"For 10-12 hours, baby Shannon was in that box, with a dirty diaper, no way to change it, no food, no bottle, just baking soda to mask the smell. There weren't even any holes in that wooden chest to provide ventilation or air," says Assistant State Attorney Greg Wilson.

Baker shook her head in disagreement as Wilson told jurors how she deceived everyone throughout the investigation.

The defense argued Baker did what she believed was 'reasonably necessary' because the Department of Children and Family Services didn't do its job.

"DCF without a doubt failed Baby Shannon," says Defense Attorney Gerard Virga.

Jurors deliberated for less than two hours before reaching the guilty verdict.

The State Attorney's Office was pleased with the decision.

We're satisfied that we put our very best case forward to the jury and they considered all the evidence, they deliberated appropriately and they rendered what we feel is a just verdict," says Wilson.

But the defense is already preparing for an appeal.

Virga says, "I think the defense presented a good case for Ms. Baker, I think we have plenty of issues left for appeal and I think that's where the case could be headed at this point, she's looking forward to her day in the appeals court."

The court will still have to decide whether Baker will await sentencing in the Washington County or the Bay County Jail.

Baker's sentencing is scheduled for November 8th at 8:30am.

She could face up to 35 years in prison.


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